The Gift of Education

Alumni and friends are helping the brightest students realise their dream.

Carmen Hesketh
Carmen Hesketh Credit: Gareth Overton

The University of Edinburgh firmly believes that no talented student should be deterred from studying at Edinburgh due to financial concerns.

So, as part of this year’s O’Shea Global Scholars Initiative, the University launched new UK Undergraduate Scholarships to allow the most disadvantaged students in Scotland and the rest of the UK to study and thrive on campus here in Edinburgh.

Leading the field

Back in the spring, the University contacted its alumni and supporters to share these ambitious plans to go further than ever before in closing the higher education opportunity gap. The response was very encouraging.

Edinburgh already provides one of the best scholarship programmes for undergraduate students from Scotland. But for the most disadvantaged students we know we need to do more. With support from our alumni and friends, we are able to place special emphasis on those wanting to study at the University who are from the 20% most deprived communities in Scotland*, and those with the lowest family income.

*according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation: SIMD

Overcoming financial worries

Student Carmen Hesketh was only able to take up her place at Edinburgh thanks to an undergraduate scholarship. Carmen, who is about to begin the second year of her History degree, is in no doubt that the assistance has been vital in enabling her to come to Edinburgh and study without financial worries.

“I studied hard at school,” she says. “My mum even worked more hours to pay for extra tuition so I got the grades for university. I did everything I could. But that still wasn’t enough. There was no way we could pay for it alone. Hardly anyone goes to university where I’m from. It’s doesn’t seem like an option. We just can’t afford the daunting cost of rent, bills, food, study materials and travel”.

“When I found out I had funding, it was the best day of my life. I knew then that my life would change. I am now able to study at this world-renowned university without having to constantly worry about money. My scholarship means I don’t need a full-time job on top of my studies to help pay for my rent and bills. Instead I can work as hard as I can and make the most of everything the University of Edinburgh has to offer.”

Enhanced scholarship support

Alumni and friends are playing an invaluable role in allowing us to create and expand new opportunities for future students. From this academic year, Scotland-domiciled students who qualify for the top level of scholarship funding will receive 50% more than in previous years thanks to donor support.

Meanwhile, the top level scholarship award for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also increase, making them the most comprehensive of their type in the UK. This helps to ensure that Edinburgh continues to attract and support the best minds, regardless of financial background.

The University of Edinburgh is truly grateful to all donors who are co-investing in our students’ futures by supporting UK undergraduate scholarships.

O’Shea Global Scholars Initiative

Scotland Scholarship

The University of Edinburgh Scholarship (RUK)